Friday, August 31, 2007

Mouse Hunt (house?)

Last night Anna attempted to trap the mouse (mice?). Well, strike one. I am not sure if we didn't set them right but nothing happened. What has happened is that a little trail of ants found the peanut butter on the trap and took it with them. I guess ants are not heavy enough to snap the trap. was suggested to try poison and I do not really like this option as the the little mousies can decide to expire in the walls. This a VERY bad thing. But, I resorted to that today. We will reset the traps as well and see if some mouse hunter knows the proper way to set them. Have I mentioned I hate mice? I do have a few stuffed rats (not real ones) that sometimes lurk behind couches and chairs. Stay tuned.

Cranky me

There is nothing that sets me off more than whining of any type. Well....ok....some kinds of whining are not so bad such as commiserating. But.....the kid variety is more than I can handle at times. I don't know if it because it is Friday or because when you have a large family whining can multiply. So I am going to try to go ease my nerves and mow some lawn. Sweat and hard work is good for my mental state. I know it isn't as bad as I think but frankly a break is what this mommy is ordering up. I may sneak some ice cream into the back yard when no one is looking as a treat. SHhhhhh.....don't tell anyone. Oh.....I realize I am whining here so no comment from the peanut gallery. The day was otherwise fine and the kids are still enjoying school. I need to plan some fun for math so that doesn't become a drudgery. Random thought.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Week in review

Monday: Had school, had anxiety attack over the mess in the basement, went to the pool and had fun, goofed off with friends.....

Tuesday: Had school (that went well all week by the way), removed and extracted honey in the afternoon and evening, collapsed into bed. We got approximately 13 gallons of honey this year. I can't remember what we got last year but I do know that if anyone has any excess water weight to get rid of, that donning bee suits in 87 degrees weather will do the trick. Water!!!!!

Wednesday: Had school, (it is always easier to be cheerful at someone elses home just for the record), went home and prepared for church and Cecilia's first communion (she's six..... ;o) couldn't resist). It was sweeter than pie to watch her and the other sweet little boy listening intently to Pastor talk with them before the service. Their eyes were wide and VERY attentive to what he had to say. Anna had done Cecilia's hair up cherub like, and she had on her Easter dress. She received two crosses as gifts afterwards and she lugged them around like teddy bears. We had to convince her to put them someplace safe before we could hang them up but they did keep breakfast, lunch, then finally on the wall. There was some crucifix jealousy drifting around the house that night and the next day. Who knew my kids would all want a crucifix of their own. That will make Christmas and birthdays a cinch I would say. We gathered at our house for ice cream and socializing afterwards. I know Cecilia will not soon forget the day.

Thursday: That was today, we had school....broken record.....and I could tell the kids are settling into the rhythm of the routine. There were less kids not listening (very good thing) and the house stayed relatively clean. Pretty good for 14 kids wandering around. My kids went to friends in the afternoon and I enjoyed a few hours of just Stefan and I bumping around the house, cleaning, sorting laundry and making a decent dinner. The bathroom got cleaner while Stefan took a bath. He took a second bath in the dog's water bowl and had to be stripped down and redressed. I spoiled his fun. I managed to wallow in some depression over my inability to keep up after the abyss of despair (the basement) and other places that seem to constantly be trashed. Pretty negative huh? I have NEVER been good at keeping up with this sort of thing and it basically leaves me feeling inadequate. Even more depressing. I know, I know, just do the next thing. Easier said than done some days.

This evening Anna and I went on a run to Walmart for mouse traps. It is getting closer to fall and the mice have decided to try for an early entrance. Ugh. I hate mice and this is the one thing I really hate about living in the country, critters. I saw a large possum (yuk) skipping across the driveway when we came home (yuk). I hate rodents more than ticks. Yuk, yuk, and double yuk. So......they make me feel like I am not keeping up as well. Aaaahhhhh!!!!!! The mice that is. The possum is just yuk.

Tomorrow we are going to the park to play. I might even have supper planned. Salmon!!!!!! Yum. One kid said something about pizza but salmon sounds better to me. Yum, Yum.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Memories of Ann

So my mom called to let me know my neighber, growing up, died. It was her grandson Dustin, who died this spring. I wasn't shocked really as her health had been bad for years but with every death of someone I know, it made me think of my memories of her.

She and her husband Bill were a huge support to me growing up. I would go hang out at their house after school and we were sort of like family. They were from Tennessee and she was the only person I knew with a Southern accent. Boy did she have an accent! I learned all about southern cooking over there. I also learned what a diet was. They had four girls and I was closest with their youngest, Sarah. We would all spend our summers in the backyard perfecting our tans with lotion and iodine. A hilarious memory I have is the time my mom hung towels on her clothes line and Ann questioned how much detergent she used in the wash. my great surprise Ann turned the hose on the towels and soap bubbles starting running down them. It was funny. She was fiesty.

She taught me to cross stitch and she was town expert on Victorian decorating. Her living room was very South to me. Queen Ann furniture (how appropriate) and velvet coverings. She had a unique Christmas tradition of laying all of the girls gifts out, unwrapped, on seperate chairs and of course it was beautifully decorated. They would wake up and go out to see their gifts. THat was just different to me as wrapping paper was our tradition. Oh, it was in this living room that I first heard Elvis died. Being from the Memphis area this was big news for them. "Where were you when you first heard Elvis died?" There, now you know.

I 'rebelled' by going to church with her at the Baptist church. I remember her telling my mom that at least my rebellion involved going to church. I am back at the Lutheran church but going there did make me think. I suppose I would spaz if my kids did the same thing but Ann did try to get her to keep things in perspective.

One time when Charley and I went out on a first date there were cat howls from the next door when he said goodbye. My mom was alerted by phone and soon they were all peeking out the windows at us. Smirk, smirk. She reminded me of this often and told me she thought he was pretty cute. Come to think of it, she must have always peeked out the window as another time in a date situation (some other guy) that I was not crazy about, she told me she never saw anyone run so fast to the door. Ha! She wasn't kidding. She also came to see Anna when she was a newborn and said she had never seen a more beautiful baby with such perfect little ears.

Ann was a good friend which distance kept us apart. She always supported my family in many ways and was a good friend to my mom as well. THey lived on the phone together when I was young. I am sure her family will miss her as well as her friends.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Another busy day. Church was grand this morning. Stefan took a nap at the appropriate time and a great sermon is icing on the cake. Bible class was sort of a blur but I did have a nice talk with another mom while chasing Stefan through the basement hallway.

We went on a shoe hunt this afternoon for Erik. He has officially outgrown or bypassed his father in shoe size. We got a pretty good price for a nice pair of shoes so I am satisfied. It was odd to shop for such large, grown-up shoes for the child who used to have such cute little feet. How did that happen? We have not figured out pants too well for him as boys this age are skinny and long. None of them seem to work great. Perhaps I can drag him to a tailor to try to straighten out the one pair that seems to work the best. I got him two pairs last spring that he seemed to grow out of literally overnight. He work floods for the summer till I found the time to update last weekend. Poor boy. He doesn't seem to complain too much.

This evening I worked on a little lawn mowing, lesson planning and laundry folding. The lawn mowing was the most satisfying. Tomorrow we need to yank the honey supers off. I am giving up on finding the perfect day to do this. We may have to yank them off early Tuesday. We shall see but the honey must be extracted soon and things cleaned up for the fall. I am most curious if the bees ate all of the honey with all of this rain we've been getting. Stay tuned.....

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Busy day

So it rained all morning and I dodged the raindrops to do some errands. I have a horn mouth piece again so can warm up Krispy Kruspe again. I should make some time just to do that.

My friends came as scheduled and we all had a very nice visit. Their little guy is our Godson and he jabbered away at us most of the day. He even told Anna he was taking her home with him and to get in the van. Pretty smart guy for a three year old huh? He is just cute. The weather did cooperate so we could all spend some time outside. The time went too quickly and they were on their way home. THey forgot their camera and we fortunately saw it right away so Charley got to have a MacGyver moment and jumped in his car to chase them down the road. He caught up with them in time to their surprise.

Charley got some work done on the garage which was nice. I think we should put a car in the garage and take a picture just to see what that is like. We had some good conversation about some possibilities for that room. We haven't had too much time to process that though so I think just processing the possibilities will take some time.

Our friends left a little before dinner as one of them was not feeling too well so....we were spontaneous and had some other friends over for dinner. I had already prepared a meal and we had been struggling to find a time to get together with them so we were delighted they could be spontaneous as well and come over. What a social day!

Then.....after that I took a quick walk with a friend which was also nice. It was neither raining or sweating hot out. Now the dh wants to finish the movie we started a few nights ago so the day is still not done. It was a good day though.



So it is Saturday again and Ihave too many goals. I also only have about three hours to complete them in. We our out of liquid gold (otherwise known as milk) so need to go get some of that. I would love to plan my meals for next week so I don't get caught off guard on a busy afternoon. Then.....I was reading the kids science book and see that there a few little supplies that we need to have the best experience so would like to go get those.

Old friends are coming over later this morning. We have tried to get together all summer but due to some very odd ailments, it has taken till this weekend to get this to work. The news is that a few of the kids have grown a lot so it will be fun to see them. Is it any wonder that kids in their teens are cranky when they grow literally inches in a short period of time. Our oldest son grew at least nine inches last year! Talk about needing sleep!

The lawn has grown a ton in a week so perhaps I can squeeze a half an hour of lawn mowing in this morning. I hear it is not going to rain today but will have to check out the forecast again to make sure. My sympathies to those who have water in their basements. THat is a job and a half. I remember the summer I was expecting Matthew and all it did was rain and be incredibly hot. THat was the summer our drier broke and trying to keep up with air drying the clothes was a royal pain. My cute husband thought his dear wife could handle it and I was not quite as obnoxious as I am now so I just endured. If the wife isn't whining too loudly, then everything must be fine, right? Then.....a dear friend told me to give him a deadline to fix it and lay the ads out on the table for drier sales. It worked. THe drier was declared dead and off to the appliance store we went. He had a happier wife and more clothes to wear.

Off to tackle the list.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Second day and road trip

School went smoothly again today. We teacher folk realized that we are going to be whooped puppies by the end of the day when we do full days. I guess we will sleep well. But what about when we don't want to sleep and we would rather play and do irresponsible things like watch a movie or whatever? I think I am going to be a very naughty old person. When old people say they can't sleep well at night why don't they go hang out with their friends? Sounds like fun to me. I should have gone and played cards in the middle of the night with my grandma when she couldn't sleep. Clearly I need to go to sleep.

I did take a road trip this afternoon to my parents. We had the traditional Mac and Cheese - homemade mind you - and chocolate pudding for desert. Cecilia asked why I never made chocolate pudding. I told her it was because grandma makes it. It was raining when we left their house and it is raining again, with severe thunderstorm warnings. I let the kids go back to bed since it looks like the worst is past. to catch some winks before tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First day of school and weird letter

So far so good. We are schooling with another family this year and wow! The potential!!!! That is one reason we are cleaning the basement so I can keep track of the toy clutter and actually have math etc. The kids worked hard, the noise was not bad, and I do feel like we will be able to accomplish a lot more. THe kids are divided into older and younger groups so I suppose we are not really unschooling but have a little school (14 kids). We should name it or something. There is little danger of the adults talking to each other as we seperated ourselves into totally different rooms. She was worried I might get sick of her so we joked, no - we might get sick of a kid before that happens.

We got a VERY bizarre letter in the mail yesterday from a non-trinitarian family. They have invited us to join their daughter's 'Bible study' for three years. We have of course made no reply. So.....the dad sends us a letter insinuating that because we have not sent our dd to their dd's study that she will certainly be lost spiritually, get a boyfriend, be ruined by aspirations of a higher education and something about how church is not just Wednesday's and Sundays. HA! If they only knew. Perhaps I will tell them but am not sure it is worth the effort. These are also the people who feel that music with a 'beat' is scandalous. All music has a beat, duh! Well, those of you who know us and our lack of attendance of church and how we basically have this daughter who is selling her soul to the world will probably 'exhort' us to send her. NOT! OR......our dd can start her own 'Bible study' and invite them. Frankly I would not send my dd to their 'Bible study' because I AM concerned for her soul. She is downstairs playing music with a beat on the piano. Do you think they struck a chord????? Pun intended.....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The basement day two...

So, back to the basement we went. I sorted books seemingly all day. Stefan played in the dust on the floor which cannot be a good thing. He enjoyed it though. Little children discovered forgotten toys and ran upstairs with them. It looks a tiny bit better now. At least I found a lot of non-fiction books and old favorite picture books to read to the kids. I threw out a whole bunch of junk again today. The carcasses of food eaten in the basement (mostly food snuck and eaten in the basement) and we didn't quite get to vacuming the cobwebs, dust, etc. up. I think someone is going to have to go on a little lego piece hunt or say goodbye to them.

The boys discovered walking on feed barrels like lumber jacks. That was an interesting discovery. I suppose that could be some sort of agility skill we could have them practice.

Charley and I discussed the garage project some. He has been working and working and working at the paid job so I think the garage project is still somewhat overwhelming and will have to wait till he is doing less at the paid job. We did clean the garage out some today though (for the third time I think). We still need to get rid of the unwanted furniture somehow. It really isn't worth anything to anyone so will probably have to have a bonfire and get rid of it. I think I may lock up the garage and bar the doors to it so they can't fill it back up with junk again.

I also paid the bills - wow. There's a sense of accomplishment. Now I am going to bed and try to get to sleep so we can start school tomorrow. Yay! Hello math and learning how to read and spell, here we come!

The basement

I think I have cleaned out our basement more times then I would like to think about. My dh dug a five hundred square foot room out from under the front of our house, by hand, about ten years ago now. I guess that is the first time the basement was cleaned out. Har, har. The intent was for it to be a school room and I am working towards that finally becoming a reality. The problem has been keeping track of what the small kids are doing down there in the line of trashing it. We even put locks on their cabinet doors so the toys with the little pieces would be somewhat under control. My younger kids are pretty bold though and would get a hold of the keys and then......stir the soup. My dream is that if we are finally going to use that room for school, that I will be down there to police the mess. We filled the garbage can yesterday with misc. stuff that has accumulated and the recycling bin was added to with a bunch of magazines that I will never read.

I think I am giong to try another round today. The dust down there is trying hard to give me a sinus headache. WE shall see what we can get done today. I am sure the dh would be pleased if it actually became usuable. Anna sews down there and leaves sewing debris. Erik pins bugs down there and leaves bug debris. Matthew and Martin promptly grabbed wood yesterday afternoon when the floor was clear to design a new Civil War era musket.......I kicked them out to the barn. THe sewing and pinning aren't happening right now but the fall out still needs to be addressed. I am amazed at how quickly this all happens......

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Busy Weekend

The highlight of the weekend was going to an old friend’s 50th wedding anniversary. There were so many people there that I knew from through the years . Our first pastor was there and the smile on his face and words of pleasure in seeing us was worth the whole evening. I took some funny pictures of him as some of my favorite memories of him were of the silly things we did at meetings. He has not changed too much despite losing his wife a few years ago. If there ever was a teddy bear of a pastor he was it. His preaching was great too. That was why we joined that church to begin with. Gospel and liturgical practice…..

The wife of the couple was and is one of my best friends. We spent the most time together when we attended the same church. We have been through the joys and sorrows of life together. Her life and mine have drifted as she is busy with her own kid’s lives and helping with grandkids and my life is busy with my own kids. We can still connect quickly and we still know what the other person is talking about without filling in the grey areas. I miss talking to her. So….we will make an effort to get together more often.

Seeing their kids, who are my age, was also a treat. Her daughter and I used to play horn and piano together and we would raise the rafters at church just having fun playing concertos and making music together. Sigh. That was a lot of fun. She would call me on a Friday and ask if I wanted to play a prelude with her on Sunday morning and we would just do it. We made awesome music together. It was an experience I value and will never forget.

We have both changed in many respects and our conversation was peppered with sharing what each other lives have handed us. Her life has certainly been far more challenging than mine through many health difficulties. Her life hangs in the balance literally but she looks good now and plugs along in a way that I am not sure I could. Her ability to do so does not make her super human either so my deep thoughts were of how no matter what our health or position, no matter how much someone holds a person up for their amazing abilities, challenges, busyness, ability to contribute to others, talent, etc….we are still sinners alike in need of forgiveness. I could be depressed that her life is so precarious or realize that none of us is any better off. Her worries and fears or faith and hope just get focused in a different way. My own grip on this issue is sharpened through 9 sinners bumping around together. The sweetest thing about our conversation was actually a small difference of opinion that came up. It was sweet in that our conversation was not focused on her frailty but was more like old times of discussing music, liturgy, old friends, etc. I am sure it was a treat for her as well to just have a normal conversation. I still think of her frailty but know I will not always remember to pray for her – guilt. Thanks be to God Jesus has that covered better than me.

So…..that was the weekend. Now we are gearing up for school and watching the rain. At least we are stuck inside and are forced to focus.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stefan and church

The little guy has become very vocal lately so it seems I spend more time pacing and chasing than participating at church lately. This is VERY hard for me as I love to be able to participate. True I can participate quietly from the 'rubber room' (that is what I call it at times) and I can sort of see what is going on. I can hear almost everything too. I just miss being in the midst of things. I know this too will pass but I must admit it is hard for me. This is a time when I wish we taught our kids to love pacifiers or that they weren't genetically so active. Their cute selves are their cute selves though so I guess I should stop whining. Some of the moms seem to take this all in stride. I do but.....I guess I am a

He is doing a lot better it seems in the health department so I am thankful for that. His well-baby appointment is tomorrow so we will see how big he is. It will be interesting to talk to the doc about the allergist visit. I will try to update that whole confusion tomorrow but I am feeling much better about his overall well being lately. His skin has been beautiful for which I am truly VERY thankful.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Broilers and turkeys back.....

A good part of today was spent going to the butcher to get the pork, chicken and turkeys back. I have an amazing inability to stay awake while driving so that is bugging me. Yes, I stayed awake but there is something about driving that puts me to sleep. I am not even a daytime napper.

So.....all the critters are stored away now. Charley, with a little help from our friends, cut chicken into pieces, bagged and put them in the freezer. The pork was already wrapped so I just squirreled it away. I think since we are also getting a quarter beef from a friend, I am going to make out a menu that sort of revolves and doesn't need to be 'figured out' from day to day.

Stefan has been a little on the fussy side. I don't know if he is bored with his surroundings but when he is at someone else's home he is happy as a clam. Right now he is busy standing up and sitting down.

The kids are also a little on the crazed side and do silly things and run and scream just to charm me. For some reason I don't really find it charming. Why can't they be one of model groups of children who sit around and read books quietly? I suppose though if you are four and can't read this isn't really appealing.

Stefan just tipped over.......he's ok and heading for the stairs.....

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wrapping up the summer

The turkeys and broilers go tonight. Phew. This is a relief for the worker bees. It is a relief for me as well. We need to hunt down the extractor for the real bees now too so we can finish that project up. Erik's one hive has four full supers. We have a hive at a vege farmers that needs some attention as well so the days don't get any less busy.

School is staring at me and I need to get stuff ordered. We have most of what we need but a few bigger purchases to make. I am excited to get going on it but on the other hand the family seems addicted to fun so it might be hard to transition.

Charley has a yucky case of poison ivy. He must have touched some and then rubbed it on his face and neck. I HATE poison ivy so I am hoping to figure out some sort of relief for him.

LEt's see......we had great fun with friends last night and just relaxed, ate, and chatted. The teens seemed less active then normal and content to just sit around. That was a little odd or perhaps Erik just wanted to spend some time playing football but he seemed happy enough.

Matthew is still book hungry and a trip to a local branch of the library left us less than satisfied. I will have to take him downtown to the main branch from now on. We have A LOT of books here though so am going to give him a tour of the bookshelves.

Anna seems motivated to start studying again. I'm glad. She has been practicing quite a bit too so I don't think she will need to catch up.

The house is clean, the baby seems fatter, what more can I say to update the readers.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Snitch Cake

Anna had the inspiration to make a golden snitch cake for Zachary's graduation party and I think it turned out great. I especially enjoyed the moment when some ladies from church asked what the snitch was made out of and the look on their faces was priceless! "Oh, it is four layers of cake with frosting in between and then frosted on the outside. The wings are molded fondant." There is nothing better to a mom than to see the stunned look on a group of women's faces when they realize this thing is made out of cake and frosting. I think they thought it was clay or something. We didn't eat it this morning as Zachary's dad wanted to take it home with them. I hope I don't find it in their living room a few weeks from now.........

So.....those years of cake decorating do pay off with moments like these. I will have to hunt down pictures of her other odd cakes to post on here.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

He's done

I haven't figured out how many pages he has read since the beginning of the summer but HP was through the month of July and finished last night. He is sad it is over. I suppose we should give him Lord of the Rings next. I suppose he could start with The Hobbit. He also read Eldest and I think the next book. That is a lot of pages to fit into our hectic life. Anna has observed that large families do not have the same leisure time since we are busy chasing each other's messes. Ugh.....if only we were one of those perfect, jumper wearing families (but since we have so many boys we couldn't sport too many jumpers), then our house would be perfect and we would have more time to read HP. Wait......we wouldn't be reading HP if we were in a perfect jumper wearing family. So you see, that is why our house can be a mess and why we read HP and we don't wear jumpers.......

Back to fight the clutter fight. People are going to lose toys amoungst other things so there is less clutter to make.......but I have find the time get to that project. Enough prattling.....

Monday, August 06, 2007

My Son Matthew the HP addict

Son.....please go get dressed so we can get something done around here and......don't read HP ok?

"Oh, ok mom."

Silence in the bedroom........"Matthew? Are you reading HP????" "Uh, uh......yes, mom"

Ok, so it is sort of fun to see my obsessed son addicted to reading HP. He is in the middle of number seven and even upon threat of losing it the rest of the day he will still risk reading it. Isn't that cute????? He is still alive so that is good news. Others have expressed their pride in his enthusiasm. Ok, ok, so have I. What to do with this enthusiasm though when the house is a veritable dump. Ok, so I will try to restrain my blogging so we both suffer.

The picture was taken at the beach after the van break in.......still reading HP in the face of adversity.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Higher Things Reflections

Here are a few thoughts about my week with MANY young people at the Higher Things Conference in Minneapolis. I will try to make this make sense. One of the quotes that stood out in my mind is from Klemet Preus I believe. He was standing in front of a large group of kids and some chaperones in a classroom. He looked out and made the comment that watching all the young people and their escapades reminded him of his own youth and that his memories were full of many scary times. I know from the rest of his comments that he was referring to the scariness of growing up and feeling your way in the world. I could certainly relate to this comment. I too was staring at many a young person, some I knew and some I didn’t, as they listened intently or not so intently and thought about life at this stage. Thinking back on Valpo days made me remember how desperately I wanted to make my own way and be known for who I was. Sure that sounds selfish but I think that is pretty normal. I know a lot of young people going through the same thing right now and in fact am surrounded by them. It makes sense that most of my friends my age have kids who are in this stage. If I tell my own children that what they are going through is not surprising but normal they have at times thought I meant that when I was young I did not make any such mistakes. Far from it! I say this to them because I do remember. Perhaps I shouldn’t say it at all but I think it is also hard to see my children struggle through and sometimes be disappointed, disillusioned, unrealistic, mad, jealous, etc. We do this too of course but perhaps what is normal for High Schoolers is totally the same AND totally different from 40 year olds or 70 year olds. It made me mad when I was younger for someone to insinuate that they could relate to being my age. I guess we all do this too – “how can this older person remember what it was like to raise kids in this day and age – certainly it must be harder.” Really?????

A Ha-ha memory was Pastor Cwirla’s talk on Baptism and he was musing about how the baby would certainly not display any realization of his baptism and may even cry, scream, spit up, or wet their diaper……” Then there was this male laugh from somewhere in front of me – sort of a solo laugh and I recognized who it was……Pastor Franck! Later he asked me if I was in the Plenary on Baptism and did I hear the part about……”Yes, Rob I heard you laughing” He changed the Pastor Cwirla quote to “and may even pee on their sponsor”. Har har. He is Stefan’s Godfather. Yes, Stefan peed on him. Then…..Rob went on to laugh about how Pastor Stuckwisch later told him that they always kept a diaper on their babies in sort of a thanks for telling me sort of way. . Pastor Stuckwisch encourages (I’m fine with it) the baptizing of babies naked and then ‘clothing them with Christ’ with their baptismal gown afterward or at least symbolically speaking that is what he means. I did think that was pretty cool, but I do remember Rob getting peed upon. So if you heard the laughing at the odd moment that was the reason why.

This is getting long. So……the services were great and reminded me of……Valparaiso University. I knew that was going to be true from Anna’s description from Colorado. Of course at Valpo I don’t remember any explanations for why a person crosses themselves so the worship folder was certainly nice for those not familiar with things. The brass choir in particular reminded me of my horn playing days in the brass choir at Valpo. Those are sweet memories. The director I had at Valpo is now at St. Louis Seminary, Dr. Berght. I would love to play in a brass choir again. Maybe next year I will tote the horn along if I am able to go. Oh, I did find it curious that some turned to face the cross processing out and then turned back to the front even though the cross was still in the back. That was just an observation and not a criticism. Perhaps I will muse some more on the Minneapolis Higher Things Conference. I am certainly very happy for the young people who were able to attend. The speakers certainly put their all into their presentations and I can say that every effort was made to speak to these young people and encourage them in their faith. It is a good thing and I am thankful that there are pastors willing to put forth so much effort.

Revisiting the Valpo post

So here's the thing. Going to college where both of your parents work and most of the parents of your best friends work can be awkward at best. If I say I smirked when asked if I knew who a certain professor was, it was said all in good fun and not as an insult. In those days I wanted to live a secret life as I wanted my own identity and not be known as a professor's brat. These situations came up by chance and frankly if someone did say anything that should not have been said to me, I did try to stop them. Remember all you shocked readers, the prospective students of said professor were asking if I knew him. I simply stated I did. (It is REALLY hard not to smirk when maintaining a secret life) Also remember that I stated that I DID try to stop the poor girl from prattling on. For those of you who took it all in fun and awkwardness, thanks. I am a raving paranoid middle aged woman so I have to state this all here on my blog. No need to comment but do know it isn't my style to cut down my parents especially in PUBLIC.

I will add one other cute story related to said professor that I thought was FUNNY. I took a course by another professor in the subject area of said professor. They were colleagues and I often times babysat this professor's kids. So here I am trying to live my secret , don't know anybody at this University life, and the colleague decided to ask me to give the definition of Sociology on the first day of class(this is the subject matter they taught) and I was suddenly sweating. Here the dad was the head of the department and his daughter was put on the spot in class. Phew......I remembered the answer! I think that was one of my most relieved, saved from embarressment moments. See dad, I was paying attention to your life! I did well in the class and can't help bringing up Sociology type observations when people make ignorant, culturely related comments. more of my favourite memories at Dear Old Valpo was graduation day when I let my secret identity out of the bag. Valpo has the tradition that if a professors kid was graduating that they got to go up on the podium and give each other a hug after receiving their diploma. We got a great picture of this and yes, it is a great memory.

I think I need an 'Ode to Dad' post now. THis is just a start. If I have offended anyone, I am truly sorry and that was not and never is my intent on the good old blog.


The middle aged paranoid woman

Friday, August 03, 2007

Auction day

As it turned out, I ended up buying back our turkeys and we already planned to buy back our swine as it was sold already. Martin's turkeys went for way too low so I suddenly became a buyer for the first time. Matthew took his birds out to the table and I proceeded to bid with a set goal in mind as to the acceptable minimum. THe bids never went above the goal so home they come. I figured we could sell them on the side for more than what was offered and when I got a hold of Charley at work he realized that yes, this was true and he thanked me for thinking on my feet there. The boys need to work on a buyers group if they intend to make anything off of their animals at the auction.

Other auction observations were of the my favorite older 4-hers. Some had class and courtesy down to a fine art and it was nice to see these young people handling themselves well. There were the cute first year 4-hers who did well with cuteness. There were a few young ladies who had the fake, model smile down to an art and I did observe they did not necesarily do well with their sales. THe ones who did the best had a group that worked together.

Needless to say I was VERY tired from being out in the heat with Stefan all day. I even went on a walk with Cindy this morning before it heated up too much. Charley made it to the auction a few minutes after the boys were done. I did eavesdrop on a few farmers behind me discussing the price of corn and the general farmer debates so that was entertaining as well. It was sort of fun to watch these farmer families in action. THe older generation dressed like the typical farmers with the feed coop hats, farmer shirts and they talked shop. THe little farmer kids were cute and you could tell who the real worker kids were. Our kids don't have a chance against the old timer farm families. It seemed the Grand Champion must have been decided before the show even started as the winner was VERY young and it seemed unlikely to me that a first year 4-her would know how to produce or find a Champion without help.

Well....once again it is time to toss kids in bed. Erik leaves tomorrow for Colorado. Animals are picked up, and Anna will probably want to sew all day. Maybe I will begin the throw out festival again and find some more of our house.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Kids flying the coop

Favorite Apron is discussing not believing she is a year away from her son flying the coop. I just got back from discussing such things with friends. We weren't really talking about my oldest flying the coop but I now have a funny question for my parents. I was a professor's brat and took advantage of the free tuition thing at Valpo. So......the deal was that I would stay in town but since there was not tuition to pay for that I could live in the dorm. Did MY mom and dad cry when they dropped me five minutes from home????? I know I kept my identity top secret as both my parents worked on campus. But did they cry? I am sort of doubting it as the phone wasn't long distance so budget was not a concern and.......I worked with my mom at the bookstore at least for a year so I guess we ran into each other.

Because I worked at the bookstore, the subject would sometimes present itself at the checkout counter where I would be asked if I knew a particular professor. Yes, I would smirk and reply that I did know him. Of course they wouldn't know that I knew NOTHING about his classes and only that he enjoyed an occasional beer and his kids talked his ears off. This did not happen all the time but it did on occasion and it was hard not to laugh as it was VERY awkward to work there. I knew MOST of professors and their families so how does one work at a check out counter where people do a lot of complaining about the cost of books, what they have heard about classes etc. I did wise up and I got a job at the computer center so I could work more on my secret identity. There I was the computer Super Hero.

The worst was a day in Art History when a girl I had gotten to know very well started in on the Professor (my dad) tale and the tale started getting pretty do I say......uncomfortable or too much complaining is how I would put it. (There is not a professor who has not had somebody complain about them). Then.....the question......."Do you know him?"
"Uh, uh.....yes" and then......she caught on that perhaps I was not telling her everything and somehow I weasled out of telling her he was my dad as I think or rather know she would have felt badly. I truly did try to stop her and I think that is why she figured out that there was something more to why I was trying to stop her. Sigh.....wasn't college fun?

I can't imagine either sending my kiddos off to the next stage in life. We can laugh about it now and think of how odd that will be and ask people to hold our hands. Did my parents cry? I still doubt it. Will I? I am pretty sure I will. If we can open the local University taught by all the PHD's around here then perhaps I won't have to cry. This is just a dream from the dreamers though so stay tuned till a few years from now.


It's fair week still and of course it is hot. It is always hot this week. I took the kids to do the peddle push this afternoon and when we got there I asked them the big question....."Do you really want to stand out here in the grandstands and sweat????" The answer....."but we want to get ice cream". So.......I asked them if I could buy them ice cream and we could go home. Cecilia said, "Oh, I thought we had to do the peddle push to get ice cream." So......short explanation, I bought them ice cream and we went home. It was miserable out there.

Anna's rabbit got best in breed,
Matthews got a blue ribbon
Erik's 6 year old geriatric rabbit got a red ribbon.

Tommorow is the auction. I hope Charley finds out what time we need to be there.